Engine won't turn over - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 30

Here's the scoop...

I just bought a '68 327. The car is great shape but has been sitting (never started) since the original owner died 9 years ago. I have replaced all fluids and all tune-up items. When I tried to turn the engine over to pump the last bit of old gas out, nothing happened.

Here's what I see...

With the ignition on, the headlights, turn signals and dome light all work. The generator and oil pressure warning lights are on. The radio, heater blower and rear defroster do not work (I don't think a problem for now but just want to tell you what I see).

Up to this point, I think everything looks normal. I just installed a new battery and cables. I cleaned all of the solenoid terminals when I replaced the battery cable. My immediate focus was on the starter or solenoid and I plan on pulling it tonight. I just don't want to be narrow minded and miss the obvious (or not so obvious).

Here's the question...

Am I overlooking something simple? Fuse, wires, ignition switch? If I throw a multimeter on the solenoid, what voltages should I see on which terminals? What about when the key is turned to the start position?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Matt<br />68 Coupe - 327 Powerglide
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 08:47 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 107

Just some random thoughts...

Could the engine be locked up ?
Have you tried removing the plugs and turning it
over by hand ?

Is the starter any good ?
Can you hear the it engage ?

Do you have voltage to the coil?

Best Of Luck

The voice of dissent
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Engine turns freely. I got most of the old gas out by pulling the plugs and turning by hand which wasn't fun.

I was hoping that I would at least hear the solenoid 'click' when the key was turned but I can't hear anything at all.

As far as the voltage, I think that's where I should at least make a couple of checks before I start yanking suspected parts out. Because the car has been sitting for so long, I want to be able to check that the 'control' voltages are at least being applied to the correct places. I'm thinking that if I find the correct voltage applied to the solenoid then I will simply replace the starter/solenoid and move on to the next problem.

When I was cleaning the terminals the other day, I think I saw a few wires connected to the solenoid but I may be wrong. I will have to check the wiring diagrams to see where they come from. Is there an 'ignition on' voltage as well as a 'start' voltage present or only voltage applied when the key is turned to 'start'?

Overall, I think I am just worried about having a wiring harness somewhere that is fried. Do you think I am over complicating the situation? Maybe just change out the starter/solenoid and try again???

Matt<br />68 Coupe - 327 Powerglide
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 02:14 PM
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Location: Washington, Michigan USA
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There's no "ignition on" signal at the starter solenoid; the 12-ga. purple wire to the "S" terminal gets 12 volts in "Start" position (to energize the solenoid), and the 20-ga. yellow wire sends a full 12 volts to the coil (+) terminal when cranking. Check the battery pigtail connection at the plastic junction block buried behind the battery, and the screw terminal connections on the horn relay; that's how battery power gets to the inside of the car. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 02:54 PM
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Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 5,277

Check the neutral safety switch inline with the purple wire. Is this a console or column shift car? Jump the big lug on the starter to the start terminal and see if it will crank over then.

68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 04, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 30

Thanks for the thoughts. I threw a multimeter on the horn relay and found
voltage. Then I checked the 'S' terminal and got 10.3 volts during 'start'
condition. I also checked the yellow terminal and found that there was
voltage (12.3 volts) during 'ignition on'. Regardless of that, I had
voltage and that was my biggest concern so I picked up a new starter and
replaced it.

I pulled the coil wire and had my wife crank it a few times to prime the
carb and get the juices flowing. Then I replaced the coil wire and...

IT LIVES!! IT LIVES!! Yes, it started right up! Doesn't it just figure?
I've owned the car for 14 days, spent about about 60 hours working on it
(not to mention the $$$) and my wife comes out to the garage for 15 minutes
and gets to take credit for the 'first start'. Oh, and might I say that she
is more than willing to divulge that bit of trivia every time someone asks
about the car. The only part I can appreciate is the fact that she's 8
months pregnant and it was funny as heck seeing her trying to get out of the

Anyway, I adjusted the carb a bit and she fires right up every time. New
problem came up though. I put it in reverse and the car died (before I
adjusted the carb) so I adjusted the carb and tried it again. This time,
there was nothing. No reverse, no drive, no low... Nothing! Tomorrow, I
will jack the car up and watch the transmission as the wife moves the
shifter. I suspect a broken cable but if not, I will start a new discussion
in the 'transmission' forum.

Thanks again for your input. Hey, at least she's running now...

Matt<br />68 Coupe - 327 Powerglide
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